tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC March 4, 2012 10:00am-11:00am EST
good morning and welcome to "this week." super tuesday showdown. >> i came here to recruit you. >> mitt romney survives a scare in his home state. >> we by enough and that's all that counts. >> but at what cost? >> a month ago, they didn't know who we are, but they do now. >> can the front-runner translate that win into super tuesday win? questions for our headliner. the man who still hopes to play spoiler, newt gingrich and obama's top re-election strategist david axelrod. plus -- >> she must be paid to have sex. >> rush rants. it's time to change. >> a centrist retires.
and sabres rattle on iran. all that and plus the rest of the week's politics with our powerhouse roundtable, george will, matthew dowd, peggy noonan, howard dean and jeffery goldberg. and christiane amanpour. good morning. could we finally be seeing a winning streak? coming off those two crucial wins in michigan and arizona, romney won again in washington state caucuses. ron paul edged out rick santorum for second place. but the biggest prize yet comes in two days, voters go to the polls in ten states for the super tuesday showdown. 437 delegates at stake. can mitt romney win enough to finally pull away? will one of his rivals upend the race again?
our headliner hopes to be the one, former house speaker newt gingrich joins us now. good morning, mr. speaker. >> good morning. >> glad to have you back. five wins in a row now for mitt romney. in the eight last contests you have done no better than third. you're well back in the delegate race. even if you win home state of georgia, on tuesday night, how can you put together a viable path at the nomination? >> twice in this process i have been the front-runner in national polling. i think we have a chance to get back by having ideas like having a national energy strategy that gets us back to $2.50 a gallon making sure we're independent of middle east oil. and i think people are responding to big solutions and big ideas. the biggest state on super tuesday in delegates is georgia. i think i'll win georgia by a much, much bigger margin than romney won michigan. we'll go. we're competing in tennessee and
ohio. and oklahoma and a number of other states, we'll pick up delegates in a number of places. the following week, i think we'll win alabama and mississippi. we'll be competitive in kansas. this is going to go for a good while. governor romney who's outspent the rest of us by multiples, is the front-runner without any question, but i don't think that he's a very convincing front-runner. >> speaker, you took a blow in tennessee yesterday, your state co-chair switched sides, i want to show you what he said -- he said i like newt and i think he's great leader. but i don't think it's his time and i think he won't do what is necessary to win this election. i think rick santorum is the best chance we can get to have a conservative president. some conservatives think that you need one person running against mitt romney? >> well, oddly enough at the time that he was doing that, we were winning a conservative caucus vote in tennessee. and two days earlier, we won the national business council
survey, beating both santorum and romney, there are differences of opinion. but i think that there are huge differences between santorum and me, santorum has been historically a labor union senator from pennsylvania, he voted against national right to work, he voted for davis bacon which cost state and local government money. so, i think there's a pretty big policy differences there. and when you get out of the industrial states, i think it gets harder for rick to put together a majority. so, we'll see how it goes. >> speaker, there's no way to get enough delegates before the convention, so this could be a long fight if it's going to be successful for you. when we have seen this happen in the past, 1952 for the democrats, 1976 for the republicans, 1980 for the democrats, it means that party loses in the general election, are you worried that this kind of long fight is going to push your nominee at risk?
>> no. george, i'll be glad to swap history credentials with you. four years ago, i believe it was that barack obama and hillary clinton went all of the way to late june before their race ended. and yet, that seemed actually to be more advantageous to obama than john mccain having gotten the nomination early. but, we're up against an incumbent president. the thing people have to ask themselves is -- who do you think could stand up to barack obama in october and win the debates? because we're certainly not -- the romney strategy of outspending isn't going to work against obama. the fact is, obama is going to have more money, he's going to be more negative, and if we don't somebody that can win the debates in october, we're going to have a very hard time to win in november.
>> you mentioned your promise of $2.50 gallon of gas. barack obama called that a phony election-year promise. many of our viewers want to know if you can back that up. we had this question from facebook. how can newt say that he'll bring the price of gas down when prices of oil are set in world markets. your response? >> well, sure. if he gets a chance, tony, go to newt.org and look at my 30-minute message that outlines how i would do this. let me point out, when i was speaker, tgas was $1.30 when barack obama was swore in, gas was $1.89 a gallon. we have seen an opportunity of drilling in this country. the price of natural gas has dropped from 8,000 cubic a feet under to 3,000 cubic feet. the president himself admitted
in his speech this week, that on natural gas terms we have had an explosion of new discoveries. we're going to create 600,000 new jobs in the decade. that's the president's numbers. it all came from drilling. and it has lowered the price dramatically from $8 to $3. if you apply that same principle to oil, you would lower the price of gasoline below than $2.50. i would be very cautious at $2.50 i think historic examples sitting around us is what's happening with natural gas right now. this president and his secretary of anti-secretary, chu have the goal of paying $8 a gallon. the secretary wants us to get to the european-level price structure. he said this week, testifying in front of the house, he has no intention of trying to lower the price of gasoline, the american people would much rather pay $2.50.
and independent of saudi arabia. >> i'll ask david axelrod about the secretary in just a minute. rush limbaugh caused quite a stir this week w his attack on the georgetown student sandra fluke, that insurance xlans should cover contraception. let's show you what rush said right here. >> she goes before a congressional committee and says that she must be paid to have sex? what does that make her? it makes for a slut, right? makes for a prostitute? she wants to be paid to have sex. >> the democrats pounced. president obama called the student under pressure, mr. limbaugh did apologize yesterday. i know you disagree on the framing of this issue. you believe this is an issue of religious liberty. democrats called this a war on women. do you worry that limbaugh helped reinforce that democrat
message? >> cardinal, george, has indicated, the cardinal of ohio, the president's policy which by the way, george, includes sterilization and abortion pills. let's be clear about this, the president's poly according to the cardinal would lead the catholic church to give up every catholic university and catholic hospital. i'm amazed that there aren't more voices in the elite media in favor of religious liberty in america. suggesting that first of all, this young lady can buy contraceptives. the question is, should a religiously-affiliated institution, not just catholic, find sterilization and abortion provisions of obama care totally unacceptable? now, is that something that people don't look at and say this is religious liberty issue,
or are we just going to have the government define what rights we have? i think this is a very profound question about freedom. >> do you think rush was right to apologize? >> i think he was right to apologize. but let's talk about apologies for a second. i think the president was totally wrong, as commander in chief, to apology to religious fanatics while our young men are fighting in afghanistan -- it was a disaster of an apology that now has u.n. commissioner to afghanistan. you have the u.n. commissioner to afghanistan in essence to say, the president that the u.s. is guilty, these people should be tried. i think that is a disastrous position for us. >> before the president apologized the commanding general on the ground, john allen, apologized, he said he did it in order to save lives. >> i think at some point that someone also has to stand up and say that these korans were defaced.
by the radical islamist prisoners. i haven't heard a single muslim cleric say that it was wrong to deface -- they were being used to pass communications back and forth. you know, there's a point where you have to draw the line and start telling the truth even if it's painful. and the truth is -- this issue is being used by our enemies and i think we don't have the nerve to stand up and describe it for what it is. i think this is a huge problem for us, because it puts us in a position again and again of apologizing that this president has done all around the world. i think it's wrong. i think america, in fact, has been trying to help the people of afghanistan. if they don't believe us, i don't think we need to be there. having them try to kill us. finally, the president meeting with the israeli prime minister tomorrow. you have been quite critical of the president's approach. he gave an interview to atlantic magazine, jeff goldberg. the president said on iran --
i think that the israeli government recognizes that as president of the united states i don't bluff. both the iranian and the israeli governments recognize that when the united states says it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say. the president seemed to put some teeth behind this idea that all options are on the table. to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. >> i think that's a good step in the right direction. they reported once again as they did back in 2007, when they were totally wrong, that the iranians were nowhere near getting a nuclear weapon. the question is, if the israeli prime minister decides that he cannot afford the risk and he decides that for the survival of israel he has to do something to take out the weapons systems, will the president support him or will the president try to stop him? i think that's the core question, i think the israelis are likely to move quicker than an american president would. let's move now to the
president's top re-election strategist, david axelrod. great to have you back with us again. david, you just heard the speaker right there. what's the answer to that question, what if bibi netanyahu comes to the president and says, i can't wait? >> george, let's first stipulate that there's no difference between the united states and israel on the issue of whether iran should get a nuclear weapon and the president made that very clear again in the interview that you cited and he has backed that up by bringing the entire world together over the last few years with the most withering economic sanctions that have ever been administered against any country, there's no difference between in the objective here, they'll sit down and talk through the tactics involved, but no one should doubt the president's resolve. not just because of the security of israel but because of the security of the united states of america. it's important that iran not get a nuclear weapon. >> lot of republicans think that this could be a winning political issue for them. i was struck by an article this
week written by karl rove and ed gillespie, where they say the president is vulnerable on foreign policy, they go on the say -- your response? >> well, all i can tell you is that shimon peres, the president of israel, was interviewed a couple of nights ago, there has never been closer security, the prime minister netanyahu has said that the security assistance that we have given to israel is unprecedented. i think they're better sources on this than karl rove. the attitude towards the
president as commander in chief and on national security issues i think the polls reflect the reality, that he's been a very strong leader in this regard. if you don't believe that, ask the remnants of al qaeda who are on the run. i think that's an absurd notion. if that's how they want to spend their time, i welcome them to it. >> newt gingrich said that the president was wrong to apologize for the burning of those korans. >> well, i think you made the important point, the commanders on ground had a different idea -- the thing about not having responsibilities, you can say irresponsible things. but the reality is, the president has in his hands the fate of all of those service people over there and that's foremost in his mind. and the commanders on the ground felt that a high-level apology felt was warrant and necessary for the security of those troops and the president acted on recommendation by those troops. >> how about gas prices? there are some forecast that it could go as high $5 a gallon
this summer. the speaker there, talked that he wants the secretary of energy chu to be fired. the speaker referenced this testimony of chu this week where he was asked whether or not the goal of u.s. policy was lower gas prices? here's what he said. >> but the overall goal to get our price -- >> no, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil to build and strengthen ou economy and decrease our dependency on oil. >> is the secretary right, are lower gas prices not the president's goal? >> well, first of all, i think your question earlier to speaker gingrich raised an important point, oil is traded on a global market. so there's our dependence on oil makes it very difficult to control our energy costs. yes, we need to drill for more oil yes, we need to drill for more natural gas. we're at unprecedented levels of
in terms of natural gas, we're doubling renewable energy. the president for the first time in 30 years, implemented fuel-efficiency standards. that when fully implemented will save 2.2 million barrels of oil a day. that's how we're going to control this problem, george. >> how about the question -- are lower gas prices the goal of the president? >> look, we always want lower gas prices because that's good for our economy. the question is, whether it's realistic to say like the speaker said, there's magic fairy dust that you can sprinkle and you can get $2.50 gas, american people know that's not the case. six months before the president took office, gas was at $4.10, the reason it was lower when he took office was because we had a worldwide recession, that's not a strategy for lower gas prices that we want to follow. >> finally this controversy that rush limbaugh sparked. you heard speaker earlier. speaker boehner thought his words were inappropriate and he also thought that it was inappropriate for the president
to jump in and for the democrats to fund-raise off of this issue, your response? >> i think what limbaugh said about that young woman, was vile and degrading to that woman but to women across the country. the other thing about the limbaugh story that i think is important, it was predicated on a line, that she was asking that taxpayers pay for contraception. the policy in basic insurance policies, contraception, contraceptive services should be included. all women in america at some point in their lives, use that service. so, that needs to be cleared up, too. even if his quasi-apology last night, mr. limbaugh continued that falsehood and it needs to be challenged. >> david axelrod, thank you very much. up next -- our powerhouse roundtable. weighs in on all of the week's politics. the super tuesday showdown, can anyone stop mitt romney? senate surprise. what does olympia snowe's
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mitt romney came in first place in the michigan primary, although he barely won. incidentally barely won is also the total number of votes that ron paul received. >> not a good day for rick santorum. i haven't seen him this depressed. how do you feel about the michigan win? >> well, we feel great. michigan was just another case of voters taking a look at mitt romney and saying, yeah, i guess. >> comics still having fun, but can anyone stop mitt romney? let's talk about that and more with our roundtable. i'm joined as always by george will, peggy noonan, howard dean, matthew dowd of abc and donna brazile. george, let's start out with that question, five wins in a row now for mitt romney, the table set pretty well for
him on tuesday, is this it? >> it's not it yet. but it's getting there. counting delegates, republicans have something akin to the superdelegates, there are 117 delegates from the republican national primary and a lion's share of those will go to romney. how damage will he be when he gets the win? i suggest that our viewers watch two things on tuesday night, first watch virginia, because there's no choice there except ron paul and romney, so ron paul will be the vessel for all of the antiromney voters. we'll see just how many those are. the worst thing that could happen would be for santorum to win ohio and gingrich to lose georgia and drop out. that's it one-on-one and all of the social conservatives would go to santorum. >> ohio is key for santorum. must-win for rick santorum. >> if rick santorum doesn't win ohio, this race for rick santorum is over. but if you have a combination of rick santorum loss in ohio and a newt gingrich win in georgia,
then the argument is going to be made the new nonmitt romney candidate in this race again is newt gingrich again. he goes on. if he wins, he's not prepared to go out. so, i think the question becomes -- who is the nonmitt romney candidate? who is it? is it rick santorum because he wins ohio? or newt gingrich because he wins georgia? that, i think, is the question. >> the reason this goes on for so long, howard, is because republicans tried to copy the democratic calendar from last time around? >> they did. the biggest problem for republicans isn't the calendar the biggest problem is having 20 debates. it's crazy. i have never seen a race, the last time they were less disciplined than the democrats was in 1964, i actually think that the birth control stuff probably has sunk the republicans, added to the latinos, the anti-gay, there are just so many groups that you can offend, and women is a pretty big one.
>> peggy, first, howard brought up the debates. you wrote something interesting in the wall street journal. this week, you wrote that republican candidates are starting to make you nervous, why? >> oh, i think -- the debates have been one thing and i think all of the super pac money and the attacks that have been there have been another thing and have had a tough effect. there's also the fact that inevitably, i guess, institutionally, the candidates get knocked off their messages and starting entering areas of interesting conversations. that have nothing to do with a presidential run. but, there was, you know, a lot of the rick santorum stuff which helped him break through. also made him break through in a way that was unfortunate. you know, the jfk speech and how
he reacted to that, so you can look at this in one way and say, oh, they're making me nervous and in other way, you got to realize, whoever dreams that up a year ago, made a mistake. we'll see how it goes. we're in a long sloth. >> i think that's probably right. donna, if you look at that issue and the way this is all set up, mitt romney could be in a situation very analogous to what barack obama had four years ago, small but impregnable delegate lead that the others can't chip away. >> 84% of the republican delegates were selected by now. mitt romney wasn't a factor he dropped out of the race. this year, republicans are trying to fashion their contest like the democrats. but i don't think they're going
to have the same results as the democrats. over the last three weeks, what we have seen, we have seen a huge enthusiasm gap. less republicans showing up to vote. as romney will emerge as the delegate leader, the problem is, that every time he wins, the republican party continues to lose, they lose enthusiasm and they lose an opportunity to have a standard bearer that can win. that can really challenge president obama this fall. >> in the end, i don't think the problem -- i think the problem for the republicans hasn't been able the debates, it's been about mitt romney, the fundamental problem is in this race, he's not seen as someone who can unify this party. >> but on the other hand, all of the candidates are strong enough to weaken him but they're not strong enough to win? >> yeah, because they have all in hernt -- inherent flaws in them. mitt romney will likely win this nomination, but not have a unified party, have an unenthusiastic base of supporters. and be more damaged than any
potential nominee that's risen to the primary in the last 25 years. >> george, you're nodding your head. you wrote this morning, that this could be the product of either mitt romney or rick santorum, a nominee that can't win in november. >> that's right. i don't think that the republicans have looked at the november arithmetic. if obama carries john kerry states, who wasn't a potent candidate, that's 245 electoral votes. obama won by 95 electoral votes. that means, he can lose new hampshire, virginia, indiana, pennsylvania, ohio and florida, and he comes out with 250 -- >> george, and you look at that math, and you counsel in your column, it created a controversy. bill kristol wrote in the weekly standard -- rarely has an intelligent man been so wrong.
>> well, could be. but the fact is, there's economy of politics. there's only so much time, so much enthusiasm and so much energy, and i think there may come a point when people look at the math and the defects of the republican nominee, whoever it is, and say we have a better chance of maximizing the real objective, which is to stop obama, by getting all of the committee chairmanships. >> peggy, how does mitt romney keep the race from getting that point? >> i don't know. i think republicans really do have to focus. on the senate and the house. but not at the exclusion of the presidency. i think you can argue if you look at the past 15 years or so, that a lot of legislating -- a lot of big things are coming out of the hill. mr. obama's great domestic achievements, if you will, obama care, the stimulus, et cetera, they were created by congress, i
think if the republicans take the house -- keep the house and take the senate next time, there will be things like the ryan plan, entitlement reform, reform of taxes, that can and will go forward. you'll meet a republican president -- >> no question about that. >> you know, it's important. it's not things like the supreme court. the presidency has importance. we're all voting. it's early in the process. write nothing off. anything can happen. but the president is vulnerable. he's out there, raising money. it did a lot of stuff during the early years of obama administration. >> i think the republicans lose the house and i agree with, george, the only chance they have is to focus on the house and give up on romney.
obama is going to win in virginia with a huge african-american turnout. and a huge northern virginia turnout. i think he's going to win in pennsylvania now. i think the republican women in the suburbs of philadelphia, aren't going to vote for party, where there is a war on women. this last two weeks of controversy. i think it's a huge problem. i think the republicans have a hard time holding the house with this substantial -- >> i think the problem when you isolate the two parts of the ballot is that, the turnout is going to be driven by the republican presidential candidates. not driven by the republican congressional candidacy. and that's the problem in this race. i'll make an argument, just keep in mind one thing -- the president of the united states has had an unbelievable series of successes and good news the last six months, he's had foreign policy successes, he killed osama bin laden, he has a resurgent u.s. auto industry and the republicans probably worst issue over the last three months and still a dead heat in the general election, that's the president's problem.
>> that tells you something. that really tells you something. >> that's the volatility of this electorate. that's why the democrats can't give up on mitt romney. he's damaged. >> let's get to the issue, dean raised, democrats said that it's a war on women. rush limbaugh stepped in with that attack. let's show the response from sandra fluke. the georgetown student. >> it was hurtful, but i understand that this how people try to silence women when they try to speak out. it's really, really, upsetting that there's a sector of the america society that it's still okay to talk about women in this way. >> george, i think it's fair to say that we'll see her picture in democrat ads as well. i can only imagine the pressure on rush limbaugh to force the apology. advertisers came out and started to pull their ads. >> well, it would have been nice if they shared that with the
larger public, the republican leaders. speaker boehner said that rush's language was inappropriate. using a salad fork for your entree, that is inappropriate. i mean -- and rick santorum said what was -- he said was absurd and an entertainer is allowed to absurd. no, conservatives need to police the excesses on their side. it was depressing. because what it indicates is, the republican leaders are afraid of rush limbaugh. they want to bomb iran, but they're afraid of rush limbaugh. >> peggy? >> look, what rush limbaugh said was crude, rude, even piggish, it was just unacceptable, he ought to be called on it. i'm glad that he's apologized. i guess there will be a debate now about the nature of the
apology, but what he said was also destructive. it confused the issue, it played into this trope that the republicans have a war on women, no, they don't, but he made it look they that way. it confused the large issue which is the real issue, it's obama care, and its against religious freedoms, which is a serious issue, it wasn't about this young lady at georgetown. what he said was deeply destructive and unhelpful and he ought to be called on it. >> war on religious freedom is important thing inside the beltway. it's a good argument for elite people. an attack on whether women can buy birth control pills, this is a war on women. there's not a woman in the united states of america, that doesn't get what the republicans are doing and mitt romney is
going to have to live with this and he can't get out of it until the primary season is over and that is his problem. >> george, last year, the republicans tried to redefine rape, over the last -- >> what do you mean by that? >> redefine rape as it relates to who's the victim and who's the accuser, that was a whole argument that the republicans had to back down on, republicans have put guard amendments to restrict woman's access to health care, birth control, mammogram screenings, this is a campaign that women feel very strong about and i don't think it's not just partisan, because we have pigs on the democrat sides. some don't want to say it. but we have male pigs. george, i have just a few --
but, we know that the policy is sexist. but this was -- what rush limbaugh did was over the top. the republicans had to figure out how to pull him back. they started distancing themselves. the advertisers stepped in and that's why i believe this is a huge problem. >> mitt romney will have to engage in this issue at some level, what would you advise? >> i think for mitt there is myth around rush limbaugh. the idea that he influences a large number of republican voters is a complete myth. keep in mind, rush limbaugh attacked newt gingrich before the south carolina primary and newt gingrich won south carolina and then rush limbaugh attacked mitt romney before the florida primary and mitt romney won the florida primary. i think they don't have the courage to say what they say in
quiet, which is, they think rush limbaugh is a buffoon. they don't think he's helpful in this marketplace. nobody takes him seriously. if i were mitt romney, i would stand up and say, we need to change the political discourse in this country. whatever words we use on the left or the right we need to change the political discourse. >> yeah, there's also a sense that those who are not sympathetic to conservatives love to make believe that conservatives are lemmings. who tug their forelock and say, yes, sir, to people like rush limbaugh. it should not be true. there are many reasons to believe it's not true. but, donna, i have to say, whether or not, let's just call it birth control, whether or not birth control coverage under insurance companies is desirable. the real issue is, you don't get it through an assault on the
first amendment, which is more important, this is about -- >> it's about health care. it's about prevention. it's mammograms. it's not about sex. it's about preventing, you know, women -- >> it's about things that are unacceptable. to our church. >> i'm in that same church. >> i know. >> so -- >> and this is unacceptable to that church. >> women should have a full range of reproductive health services when they need them. >> what rush said was despicable. and then we say, it's not a war on women. there's not a bunch of republicans out there saying i want to take women out, i don't them part of the political discourse. people say wrong things. people sponsor wrong policies. when we use terms like rush said or terms applied to
african-americans, to gay people, terms to intellectual people, war on women that's the problem in our discourse. that's why we can't have a reasonable conversation. >> one senator republican perhaps not exactly what she had in mind, fed up with the public discourse, olympia snowe this week bailed out. here's what she said. >> what i like to call the sensible senate has now virtually disappeared in washington and the reality is, it's nearly impossible to make progress without partners in the senate who are willing to reach out from all points on the political spectrum. >> george, i think a lot of americans hear that and nod their head. >> they may. first of all, as she says in a column in the washington post, the country is divided and the senate and the congress itself is a representative institution and it's representing real cleavages there. second, she cited as one of her examples
of congress being dysfunctional, she called the debacle raising the debt limit. that's not a debacle. third, she said that we can't get things done, 99% of good government, george, is stopping things from being done. >> i think, i don't agree with george, i think the country isn't as nearly as divided as they make it seem, including us. i think it is the younger generation, they look at things differently. we look at the 10% that we disagree on, we fight to the death, the younger generation is focused on 90%. we did some polling when i was the dnc chairman, that showed, among evangelical christians under 35, their top issues werenumber one poverty, number two climate change and number three, darfur, at that time. so the best thing that could happen to this country is to put
the younger generation in power as fast as possible. they made a huge down payment on that. because it was them who elected barack obama president of the united states. >> olympia snowe, i agree with what she's said. what but the solution to it is exactly the opposite of what she said. the solution is not to step back and say, i can't be part of the conversation, therefore i'm going to cede the territory to the left and the right and make it more polarizing. i think you should fight the fight. that you believe in. fight the fight that i represent a majority of the country. >> huge loss for the senate. >> we got to take a break. lot more roundtable coming up. we'll be right back. we'll be right back. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule.
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♪ that's israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu who will be in washington later today to speak before the america israeli public affairs committee and a major summit with president obama tomorrow on the issue of iran. we'll talk about that now. i'm joined by george will, jeff goldberg, christiane amanpour, our global affairs anchor, i want to show that interview now. the president sat you down for 45 minutes late in the week, it seemed like his key role is making headlines here and around the world, his key role is stop
an israeli attack this year. the only way to do that is to convince israel that we won't allow iran to get a nuke. sum up his message in the interview saying we got israel's back. >> right. there are at least two messages in this interview. the first was to iran, please take me seriously, when i say it's unacceptable for you to cross the nuclear threshold. but the message to the prime minister, also you take me seriously, when i say that iran is not going to cross the threshold on my watch. >> the president said that everything is on the table. >> language got a little tougher. he used the words military component, to describe what options he's looking at. the big question, obviously, in the meeting tomorrow, netanyahu is going to ask for specifities. >> you know the prime minister very well, what do you expect to
hear and take away from this interview? >> i think what netan yahu will tell the president, the state of israel, said that never relied their safety on others. what struck me most in our article, six words, why is containment not your policy? you asked the president. that's a good question. on one hand netanyahu said it e's and liptic cult. the president to you says he's on a continuum. >> the sanctions are working, we have to give them more of a chance, do you get a sense from your sources that he's convincing them not to go forward.
>> i have been talking all weekend to sources in iran, u.s. and other diplomats and, as we can say right now, the president is going to try to delay this. not only to you in your interview but anyone who listens, we believe that's there still time for place and diplomacy. what we're doing with the sanctions they're really hurting, but in a negotiated way to make a permanent solution to this nuclear problem. whether than a military strike that will really commit israel, or the u.s., or others to permanent military strikes to contain this. i was struck in their interview by something that i have been looking at, again, the shiite top leaders in iran, they talked about fatah. against nuclear weapons. called it a great sin. this is the -- >> the president said in his interview, are they going to back up those words? >> he used that.
>> but that's an offramp. it's a possible offramp, everybody saves face. they stop their nuclear program. because islam tells us to. >> and diplomats say if they're going to go into negotiations take them at their word. use that as a basis for starting negotiations. in case no one heard, the supreme leader, the foreign minister repeated it. and the sanctions are really and the sanctions are really biting. >> you are described by administration officials the official therapist between the u.s. and israel -- >> as a kid, that's what i dreamed of being one day. it's not easy. >> the question is and you raised it in your first answer, how far does president obama have to go? is it enough for him to say we'll not permit, the moment that iran kicks out inspectors
we're ready to go full-scale with military? >> if he comes out and says that the president and i had a good conversation and i really believe that sanctions are working and leaves it at that. we'll know that there's not going to be an attack. but if he says i want to praise the president for these strong sanctions regime but we're looking at something else. if the iranians are looking at a nuclear. the president is not going to be boxed in. in the interview, he refuses to say exactly what's on his mind. he's not going to limit his options. >> george, do you believe, do you take the israelis at their word when they said they would not inform the white house? >> yes, and it goes back to what i said earlier, israel is founded so that the jews can be unilateral and sufficient in their own defense. >> let's be very frank here, top israelis who have briefed me, and many others i'm sure,
they can do only a pinprick or a punch in the nose, there's no way they can wipe out whatever they see on the ground in iran and everybody knows that. so, israeli officials believe that if they do go they will have the united states following them. but, you know, the chairman of the joints chief of staff said that he believes that iran is a rational actor, the united states keeps saying that they don't -- they have no evidence that iran has broken out at all. >> one of the more important things that the president said in this interview, i think, is that he said the only permanent solution to iran's nuclear program is to get the iranians to stop it themselves. he said that a pre-emptive attack delays. it on the delays. he's still looking for a way to get the iranians to say give up this program. >> the only time that has worked in the past. we have seen it in south africa. and libya. i'm afraid that's all the time we have for.
we'll all be watching tomorrow. thank you. i'll be back to answer some questions you had this week. but first, we honor our fellow americans who served and sacrificed. this week the pentagon released the names of six service members killed in iraq and afghanistan. welcome to business as usual on the ibm smart cloud. a small lab in berlin is using supercomputing to fight cancer. an industrial city in china is becoming a high-tech hub in under four years. britain's building a smart grid to help cut emissions by 80%. even an independent studio in malaysia can produce big-time blockbusters. transforming business through the cloud. that's what i'm working on.
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trio of governors worth taking a look at -- martin o'malley, andrew cuomo of new york. john hickenlooper. keep an eye also on the chicago mayor rahm emanuel, not impossible that he takes a look at this. and finally, we could be setting up generation. hillary clinton said that she's not interested. i wouldn't rule out the possibility that she takes a look. joe biden is keeping his options open as well. also, george cannon writes. i'm a question, i'm greek pyrgos, what part of you from? >> my family is from olympia, which makes me a spartan. that's all for us today, "world news" with david muir has the latest tonight on those deadly tornadoes and tuesday night, we'll be here at election headquarters all night long bringing you the super tuesday results as they come in. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow morning on
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